Embracing Flaws: Film Photography in France


Catalan boats docked

I had traveled 7 countries and 8 US states having shot about a dozen rolls of 120 film with my Holga camera, a lightweight plastic film camera from the 1980s. The whole idea of film photography with a Holga is what some people call a “low-fidelity aesthetic” where flaws such as light leaks, blurry edges and other distortions are the norm. Well, if flaws are what you seek, then I have a doozy for you.

When I got home and developed the negatives, two specific rolls came out looking totally ruined. Blotchy chunks of film grain covered the images in some cases making the subject almost unrecognizable, while strange numbers and dots were burned into every shot. I was so disappointed. With the help of some film experts, we determined that my negatives were bad from the start. They were damaged before I ever opened the package. I was so sad about it that I tucked the negs away for a long time.

Recently I decided to embrace the flaws and make something out of these “damaged” negatives. I’m really happy that I did, I love the shots now. They were taken in my favorite seaside village in France. Please enjoy and thank you for reading.

seaside mediterranean hotelOld Light Tower CollioureSummer at the beach in France French men playing petanque Collioure train station France

Here is an example of what the raw film scan looks like from these “damaged” rolls:

Damaged negative example


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Meet Suzette
suzetteHoly crap, you found me. That’s fantastic. I’m Suzette and I’m so glad you’re here! I’ve built a successful career as a travel photographer where I have the opportunity to work from anywhere in the world, and run this blog where I share inspiration for YOUR travel photography. This website is specifically for those of us who love to wander with our cameras. We take it slow. We are curious. We love nature and the outdoors. Most of all, we love taking great photographs.

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